Last week, we tried to figure out a promotion from Hotels.com that had an extremely lengthy list of hotels specifically excluded from a coupon. We’re glad to note that not only was that promo not as bad as we thought, but a new coupon from the hotel aggregator clarifies things a bit for the easily confused. Like us. [More]
Marketers are having a lot of fun with the idea of Leap Day, which is nice: it’s a fun non-holiday that everyone who uses the Gregorian calendar can appreciate, but that a marketer didn’t have to invent. One promotion at Hotels.com seems like a nice idea –– in a virtual drawing, customers can choose a coupon worth up to 29% off their total hotel bill –– but the key question is, which hotel? [More]
I like to filter all of the coupons and sale announcements I get from retailers into a folder, which I peek through when I’m about to buy something to see whether any of them apply to that thing I’m about to buy. That’s what Andrew did when he was about to book his last trip’s lodging through Hotels.com, when it was finally time for him to earn his free hotel stay through that site. When his anticipated reward never came, he learned something terrible. Simply using that coupon in his mailbox had disqualified him from earning any rewards on that hotel stay. Then his rewards expired. It won’t surprise you when you learn that he’s not going back to Hotels.com to earn any more. [More]
Earlier today, we told you about the Texas hotel that offered guests up to $5 if they posted positive reviews on any number of popular travel sites. A rep for the hotel has since responded to say that this was a case of an overzealous employee acting on their own. [More]
A class-action lawsuit filed yesterday in a U.S. District Court in California alleges that the biggest names in online travel — Priceline, Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com — and some of the world’s largest hotel chains — Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, Intercontinental, among others — conspired together so that the “best price guarantee” you often see when booking a room online is in actuality just a number set by the hotel operators.
UPDATE: Matt tells Consumerist that after we put him in contact with a rep for Hotels.com, he was able to get a full refund. What we still don’t know — and can’t get an answer from Hotels.com on — is whether this hotel still exists.
On its website and in its ads, Hotels.com touts its Price Match Guarantee which says the company will match any lower published room rate — so long as the dates, hotel and room category match, and as long as the price match request is made before that hotel’s cancellation date. But one customer says Hotels.com’s policy isn’t so cut-and-dry and has filed a class-action lawsuit.
For all the confirmation e-mails and reservation numbers you receive when booking a room through Hotels.com — and most third-party discount reservation sites — there is still a slim chance that you’ll arrive at your destination only to find out your room has been sold off to someone willing to pay more.
Dylan traveled to China a few months ago. His consumer complaint doesn’t directly involve any company in that country, though: his issue is with the company that was supposed to provide him with a place to stay in Beijing, Hotels.com. Miscommunication ensued when Hotels.com first had the wrong address for the hotel, then failed to actually reserve a room for Dylan. When he called the company for help, he learned that while they help customers book rooms in foreign countries, they don’t necessarily have anyone on staff who speaks the language of those countries to smooth over issues.
You may remember the story from just after Christmas of the two Consumerist readers who weren’t told their reservation on Hotels.com was non-refundable until after they’d requested a refund. After the story appeared here, it looks like the site saw the error of its ways and has refunded the money.
Kate and her friend Crystal recently tried to book a weekend getaway to New York City. They found cheap airfare on JetBlue and a customer service rep at Hotels.com was nice enough to book their hotel room for them over the phone. All was going well until the women needed to cancel their trip. That’s when Hotels.com finally told them what they should have been told in the first place — that their hotel did not offer refunds.
Last week, Consumerist reader Kenny needed to book a hotel for a few nights and decided to use Hotels.com, in part because of the site’s Price Match Guarantee. But when Kenny found a lower rate and attempted to take advantage of the guarantee, Hotels.com was just too busy to get around to his request.
People, we’re never going to attract Canadian tourists if we keep scaring the hell out of them with fireworks and bedbugs. Esmond and his girlfriend were staying at a Travelodge in Sandusky, Ohio on July 5th, and couldn’t sleep because of fellow Travelodge guests shooting off fireworks in the parking lot. Around 1:30 a.m. there was a loud boom:
Jim traveled to Miami to pick up a car he was importing from abroad. He booked stays at several hotels through Priceline and Hotels.com for the drive home, but when customs wouldn’t clear his car on schedule, Jim needed to change his plans. Priceline didn’t help, but Hotels.com did.
Ginger from customer care took my call. I explained my situation and let her know that I was aware that these cancellations were last minute, but asked if there was any way to cancel or get a voucher or possibly reschedule. Right away she told me that booking for the Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel had a no cancellation policy, but offered to see what she could do. *Bonus* Before putting me on hold she let me know that it may take a long time, but reassured me that if I hung on she would be back. She was back about 5 minutes and told me that she was able to cancel the Sheraton and give me a full refund. She put me on hold again to look into the booking for today. A few minutes later she came back to let me know that she was able to cancel and refund that booking as well.
Jim’s full story, after the jump…
Regarding Ritz Carlton not honoring a 1 cent reservation, Mark dug up more contract law, ran it by his professor, tossed it off to a legal mailing list, and turned up some interesting bits.
There’s a clip going around showing a hotels.com ad right before ABC Tech Watch goes into a report about hotel.com users being at risk for credit card fraud. Ostensibly, hilarity ensues. However, the gaffe isn’t as egregious as one might think; the Tech Watch report actually ran the ad within the show, as shown by the tell-tale ABC logo superimposed on the bottom right. During commercial breaks, that logo disappears.
250,000 Hotels.com customers woke up to super great news Friday morning: “Um, sorry guys, all your credit card numbers were stolen.”